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Old 05-04-2013, 10:38 PM   #1
Buzz
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Smile Getting to know Buzz

Getting to know Buzz (Frank Jerome)

I started playing poker in a friend’s garage when I was still in high school, over sixty years ago. The buy-in was a dollar and we played for pennies. The competition was fierce, but more for status within the group than for the small change involved in our wagers.

And it has remained so since. After high school, we all went our separate ways, found new friends, started careers, started families, but we remained good friends through the years and stayed in touch, occasionally getting together for a few days of poker and camaraderie.

We continued playing poker for pennies; the competition continued being intense, and still more for status within the group than for money.

Alas, most of the others who were in that group are dead now.

I’ve always been competitive. I can’t explain why I enjoy competition. I guess it is just part of my nature. I loved participating in sports when I was younger - but I never was much of an athlete. I must have wanted to participate in athletic endeavors purely for the competition. I think everybody who participated in those early poker games with me was a better athlete.

But although I couldn’t best most of those guys athletically, I was a better card player than any of them. As far back as I can remember I have been a good card player. I don’t know why. I think maybe partly because of basic intelligence and partly because of my competitive urge.

I didn’t play much poker in college, just an occasional game. After college I started playing bridge. But I’d occasionally play poker. I remember going on a golf safari with other people who worked at the college where I taught. We played a round of golf (I was a terrible golfer) and then we started playing poker. We continued playing poker into the night. I was very tired and at some point I laid my head down on my arms and dozed off. When I awoke, maybe a half hour later, I was “in” the next hand and had a feeling of elation.
I thought I was in heaven.

A friend took me to a card casino in Gardena in the fifties. The room was filled with smoke and, as I recall had a foul smell. Maybe it was just the smell of stale cigarette smoke. (I’m not a smoker and I don’t like the smell of cigarette smoke). Whatever, I was not tempted to play there.

Nor was I tempted to play poker in any smoke filled Nevada casino poker room I visited.

I was not ready for casino poker.

Part of my general revulsion to casino poker rooms was the cigarette smoke, part of it was that I did not want to get cheated, and part of it was a general unfamiliarity with casino poker players. Losing money is far more painful to me than winning money is joyful.

After college I learned bridge. I met my second and current wife while playing duplicate bridge. She and her partner, playing east/west, visited the table at which my partner and I were playing north/south. I was immediately attracted to her, but she didn’t seem to notice me. I wanted her to notice me. I wanted to impress her. But how?

After the bidding and the first lead, my partner laid down the dummy (his cards). I was the declarer. I asked for time and jotted down the honor cards in my future wife's hand along with x for each small card to indicate her suit distribution. Then I placed my description of her hand in front of her and told her to look at it after we finished playing the hand. I knew only maybe one or two other players of the sixty in the room were capable of that feat, and I thought it might impress her.

It did.

But back to poker: Anyhow, after college, years passed with me only playing in an occasional private game.

After Christmas one year, a colleague asked me how if I had a nice vacation. I told him I did, but that when I was in high school we would get together to play poker Christmas evenings, and I missed those poker games.

That was in the early nineteen nineties. My colleague invited me to his weekly dealer’s choice poker game and I’ve been playing in that game ever since, roughly twenty years.

One night someone introduced a new game to our group, Omaha-8. The game immediately caught on, with one person after another choosing to deal Omaha-8.

After dropping my wife at the airport (LAX) one Friday night, I decided to visit Hollywood Park casino. It’s just a mile or two from LAX.

The two huge rooms with high ceilings on the first floor were each filled with hundreds of people, some of them playing Omaha-8. Nobody inside the casino was smoking. As I walked along the main aisle, I had a feeling of elation. These were my people!

I still was not quite ready to play Omaha-8 in a casino, but it wouldn’t be long until I was.

I started by playing in Omaha-8 tournaments. I wasn’t trying to win money - but I didn’t want to lose money either. I placed in the money in the first local Omaha-8 in which I participated. There were probably seventy or eighty participants. But then I lost that money playing in a cash game. I consistently continued to place in the money in local tournaments only to lose my winnings in cash games. That was fine with me.

Around midnight some of the high stakes games would break and some of the pros from those games would take a seat at a lower stakes Omaha-8 games. Sometimes I’d wait until midnight to go to the casino so that I could play against these players. I lost against them, but it didn’t matter because I felt I could always win that money back playing in a tournament. And I reasoned that if I played against better players, I’d get better myself.

I won the local weekly Omaha-8 tournament in one casino four weeks in a row. First place. There were probably 60 to 80 players each time. Then they stopped having Omaha-8 tournaments. Probably was partly my fault for winning too much.

But I don’t have the stamina to play in tournaments any more anyway. When you get tired, you lose patience and make mistakes. It’s a form of tilt.

I’ve had a job since I was fifteen years old. My dad fell ill and I worked to help out. I worked to put myself through college. Along the way I had a scholarship, the G.I. bill, the Cal Vet bill, and a national science foundation fellowship.

In college I lettered in swimming, lifeguarded during the summer, got good enough grades to win the all college fraternity scholarship trophy one year, and got elected associated men’s student body president. When I finished, I started teaching. I loved teaching but I hated grading. After a while my department colleagues chose me as their chair and re-elected me. Then the college administration chose me to be a dean, and then promoted me to administrative dean.

I had a family with my first wife and then our marriage broke up. My wife asked me for a divorce while we were having dinner for our twentieth anniversary. She had gotten a job and had fallen in love with her boss. I asked, “Are you sure?” She replied, “Yes.” And that was the end.

My first wife and I had excellent rapport and I knew what was going on with her. I could have averted the divorce in several ways, but I didn’t. I didn’t want a divorce and it was very painful. Meh.

Several times in my life I could have taken a different path. Along the way, I didn’t do everything right. But you just get the one chance and then you live with the consequences of your actions.

Now I’m seventy-eight years old. I feel healthy but I have diabetes, cataracts, a serious cardiovascular problem, heart disease, and I get strange swellings, sometimes one side or the other of my face, currently my right knee, which is currently about 1.5 times the girth of my left knee. (My knees are normally about the same girth).

And I’m losing muscle mass. My pee has too much protein. I think it may be the result of one or more of the pills I’m taking. I don’t know what my doctors think about it, or if they’re concerned. My cardiologist for more than ten years retired and my new cardiologist seemed genuinely surprised that I’m still alive. Ha ha.

Getting old, in a way, is the pits. I can’t do things, either physically or mentally, that I used to be able to do. But life is still good.

Buzz

That should be enough of an introduction to get you started knowing me. You may ask or comment.

I'll keep this (and other) getting to know me threads open for about a week before I lock them. We'll see how it goes.

Last edited by Buzz; 05-09-2013 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:00 PM   #2
Andy Dufrense
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I know I don't post on here very often, but I do like ur getting to know u thread. Im glad to see u back buzz. Over the yrs during my lurking I have learned a tremendous amount about O8 from Ur posts buzz.
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:16 PM   #3
Buzz
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Re: Getting to know Buzz

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Dufrense View Post
I know I don't post on here very often, but I do like ur getting to know u thread. Im glad to see u back buzz. Over the yrs during my lurking I have learned a tremendous amount about O8 from Ur posts buzz.
Thank you, Andy. I hope my post inspires others to start their own "getting to know me" thread.

Buzz
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:13 AM   #4
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Re: Getting to know Buzz

That was a great read Buzz I will kick off with some questions.

What is your most memorable poker hand?

When Americans were allowed the freedom to play online poker did you ever indulge or have you always been a primary live player?

Favourite meal?
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:44 AM   #5
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Re: Getting to know Buzz

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmalloy View Post
That was a great read Buzz
Thanks.

Quote:
What is your most memorable poker hand?
Once at the final table in a tournament I was dealt
A,A,2,5
My opponent bet, I raised, and he re-raised me all-in. He had
A,A,3,4
The flop was 349, which made me feel good about my chances. But then the turn and river were the J and the Q.
He scooped with two small pair. There was no low.

I don't remember the hands with which I win, but all the way home I think about the hands with which I lose.

Quote:
When Americans were allowed the freedom to play online poker did you ever indulge or have you always been a primary live player?
I have played some on-line poker. However, I prefer live poker. (To each his own).

Quote:
Favourite meal?
That's a tougher question than it should be. I've been on a non-fat diet for over ten years. And in order to avoid insulin shots (I hate needles), in addition to regular exercise (walking) I'm also on a sugar-free diet. And I'm trying to avoid processed foods.

I eat several cipolline onions every day, a mushroom or two, a leaf of fresh kale, some broccoli, some berries, and I've largely replaced meat with no fat, no sugar beans, but tonight I had a thin slice of turkey brest. I have a bowl of oatmeal and a cup of coffee every morning. I don't add milk to the oatmeal (or coffee) because milk contains milk sugar, but I do add a quarter teaspoon scoop of cinnamon to the oatmeal for flavor. Right now I'm enjoying slightly cooked (boiled two minutes) Chinese pea pods.

I can have as much celery as I want, but I don't want much.

Favorite meal? I don't know. Better for me not to think about it.

Buzz
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:29 AM   #6
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Re: Getting to know Buzz

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
But life is still good.

Buzz
that is a great mindset. i should write it on a post-it and stick it somewhere visible.
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:36 AM   #7
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Re: Getting to know Buzz

Thanks for sharing your story.

What subject were you teaching in college?
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:38 AM   #8
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Re: Getting to know Buzz

When I read this, I can't feel anything else than respect for you and everyone else with that much life experience! It makes me feel a bit stupid when thinking about what seems to worry me so much these days and the past years. It's just nothing...
Thank you for doing this (maybe unintentionally ), Buzz!
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:54 AM   #9
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Re: Getting to know Buzz

Great share, Buzz. Sorry to hear about how your first marriage ended. I hope your second (current) one has been better.

Are you still physically able to play an occasional live poker session in a casino? Have you found the air quality to be much better in casinos? The ones I've been to have mainly been smoke free, but I'm in Canada.
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:05 AM   #10
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Re: Getting to know Buzz

Have you written, are you writing, or will you write a book?

Tell me about the biologist and the scorpions. Or anything to do with biology.

Are you a scientist? Do you know anybody famous?
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:56 AM   #11
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Re: Getting to know Buzz

Nice. Protein is probably diabetes and not a medicine. Can't help with the strange swelling but despite occam's view I don't think they are related.
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Old 05-05-2013, 02:50 PM   #12
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Re: Getting to know Buzz

Buzz, how much holdem, stud and other poker games have you been playing?
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Old 05-05-2013, 02:57 PM   #13
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Re: Getting to know Buzz

favorite / least favorite L.A. casinos ?? Did you play in the old school card clubs that used to be in the area ?
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Old 05-05-2013, 03:55 PM   #14
Buzz
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Re: Getting to know Buzz

Quote:
Originally Posted by booink View Post
that is a great mindset.
Thanks.

Quote:
i should write it on a post-it and stick it somewhere visible.
As I re-read what I wrote ("But life is still good.") it seems trite.

We all have our problems. When I was younger I would sometimes run (more like trot, I suppose) along different trails in the foot hills above L.A. One time I came upon a badger (which, happily, scurried off). I didn't think badgers lived in this area, but there it was, no mistaking it for anything else. I can't do that anymore. I'll never again be able to run along a mountain trail.

Then I loved playing golf even though I was a horrid golfer. But it finally was either give that up too or get a shot of cortisone in my shoulder after every round. (And I hate needles).

As we age, most of us lose the ability to do most of the various physical activities that were fun to do when we were younger. And our thinking is not as sharp.

I know it sounds trite, but... well... life is still good.

Anyhow, thanks for responding.

Buzz
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Old 05-05-2013, 03:59 PM   #15
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Re: Getting to know Buzz

Quote:
Originally Posted by bakyka View Post
Thanks for sharing your story.
You're welcome. Thanks for responding. I hope you'll do a "getting to know you" thread too.

Quote:
What subject were you teaching in college?
chemistry.

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Old 05-05-2013, 06:12 PM   #16
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Re: Getting to know Buzz

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brunolf View Post
When I read this, I can't feel anything else than respect for you and everyone else with that much life experience!
Thanks. If you want to get there, you will too.

Quote:
It makes me feel a bit stupid when thinking about what seems to worry me so much these days and the past years. It's just nothing...
As I walked out to pick up the Sunday paper this morning, a lizard that had evidently been sunning itself on the cement walkway scurried out of my way. I don't think it could help the feeling of anxiety it probably felt when it saw me.

Similarly, humans have anxiety, some of us more than others. And we need at least some of that anxiety to enhance our chances of survival. Thus some anxiety is probably a good thing. But good thing or not, I think the extent to which we feel anxious is hereditary.

We can probably control our anxiety better than lizards, but it's more difficult, and maybe impossible, to not have feelings of anxiety. Just my opinion. I'm sure not an expert.

Quote:
Thank you for doing this (maybe unintentionally ), Buzz!
It was unintentional on my part, but I'm pleased if my post helped you become more self aware in some way.

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Old 05-05-2013, 06:38 PM   #17
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Re: Getting to know Buzz

What are you best and worst days in poker? (This can be as a dollar amount or as a story!)
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:39 PM   #18
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Re: Getting to know Buzz

Quote:
Originally Posted by broken_jia View Post
Great share, Buzz.
Thanks. I'd like to see everyone do one.

Quote:
Sorry to hear about how your first marriage ended.
Very tough.

Quote:
I hope your second (current) one has been better.
It has been about thirty years now.

Quote:
Are you still physically able to play an occasional live poker session in a casino?
I was going to play today, but my right foot is swollen, so that I'm keeping it elevated.

Quote:
Have you found the air quality to be much better in casinos? The ones I've been to have mainly been smoke free, but I'm in Canada.
California casinos are also smoke free, which is great from my perspective. Some of them have smoking rooms. And there are often smokers standing outside smoking. I often hold my breath for about ten paces going into and leaving California casinos.

Some Las Vegas poker rooms are smoke free, but the casinos themselves, so far as I know, are not. And if you stay in the non-smoking section of the hotels, sometimes a smoker who is also staying in the non-smoking section lights up, and then his/her exhaled smoke gets caught in the recycling air conditioning system. Most of the hotel rooms have windows you can't open, so that if you're in bed at night, you're more or less trapped. Some hotels have windows with locks that can be removed, if you have the proper tools with you. Sometimes that works for me. I keep a window lock tool kit in my traveling bag. But that doesn't always work either.

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Old 05-05-2013, 07:10 PM   #19
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Re: Getting to know Buzz

Quote:
Originally Posted by gumaaa View Post
Have you written, are you writing, or will you write a book?
There's no market for an Omaha-8 book.

Quote:
Tell me about the biologist and the scorpions. Or anything to do with biology.
The biologist was an attractive, single woman. I know nothing about her sexual orientation or preference. From my perspective she was nice, quiet, and well liked by her students. She had a particular interest in scorpions. Go figure!

I don't know much about biology. When I was a senior in college, I needed two more units in biological sciences to graduate, so I took a two unit class in bird study. The work for that two unit class turned out to be more like the work required for a five unit class. I did a study of the mocking birds in the area where I was living. There were about seven of them and although originally they all looked the same to me, I learned to distinguish them as individuals. That included learning some of their calls (which is tough because they mimic), and some of their dancing and displaying rituals. That was over fifty years ago, so that I've forgotten most of the details, but I guess you could say that mocking birds were my thing. Maybe the biologist did a similar study about scorpions for some project. I never asked her.

Quote:
Are you a scientist?
Not really. I guess I could have been. I was a teacher. (chemistry).

Quote:
Do you know anybody famous?
Not really.

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Old 05-05-2013, 07:23 PM   #20
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Re: Getting to know Buzz

Quote:
Originally Posted by networth View Post
Nice. Protein is probably diabetes and not a medicine.
Thank you. I believe that's about what my doctor thinks, although he hasn't committed himself that much.

Quote:
Can't help with the strange swelling but despite occam's view I don't think they are related.
My son's mother in law (What does that make her to me?) also has diabetes and, according to my son, also has had similar facial lumps (swellings). Yesterday my knee was swollen. Today my foot is swollen. (I did my daily walk anyhow).

Thanks for your input.

Buzz
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:17 PM   #21
shrewd crude
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Re: Getting to know Buzz

buzz,
have you ever played wsop?
do you think the way omaha hi low is played has changed over time?

.^sc
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:24 PM   #22
Buzz
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Re: Getting to know Buzz

Quote:
Originally Posted by plaaynde View Post
Buzz, how much holdem, stud and other poker games have you been playing?
I used to play those games while waiting for an opening at an Omaha-8 table. But I decided to only play Omaha-8 in casinos. I still play holdem, stud and other poker games in private dealer's choice sessions. I enjoy Texas hold 'em and the other games, but not as much as I enjoy Omaha-8. Honestly, if my goal in playing poker was to make money, I think I (or any good poker player) could make more money playing Texas hold 'em than Omaha-8. But I truly am a recreational player and I enjoy playing Omaha-8 more. Casinos must make more money from the rake on Texas hold 'em tables than from the rake on Omaha-8 tables. And casinos are in business to make money. Therefore casinos should logically prefer offering Texas hold 'em to offering Omaha-8. Accordingly, they make it easy to play Texas hold 'em. There's rarely a wait to get a seat playing Texas hold 'em but there's often a long wait to play Omaha-8, even when there are enough people on the waiting list to start a table.

But when the people on the Omaha-8 waiting list have taken seats at a Texas hold 'em table the casino management doesn't generally start an Omaha-8 table, even when there are enough people on the waiting list to start a game. (That's not always true... it depends on the casino). To start an Omaha-8 game would take people away from Texas hold 'em, a more lucrative game for the casino.

At any rate, by not playing Texas hold 'em while I'm waiting for an Omaha-8 seat, I figure I'm doing my small part to promote Omaha-8 play.

But I enjoy playing Texas hold 'em, and I do still play it in private games.

Seven stud and seven stud-8, in my humble opinion, are the poker games requiring the most skill and concentration, the most difficult poker games to play expertly. You have to remember what cards have been folded by those players who are no longer active in the hand. I don't mind playing those games against opponents who are not bothering to remember discards, but i don't want to play those games in casinos against experts who are paying attention to details.

Just my opinion.

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Old 05-05-2013, 08:53 PM   #23
Buzz
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Re: Getting to know Buzz

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kroe_bar View Post
favorite / least favorite L.A. casinos ??
I like casinos that offer multiple tables of Omaha-8, and I like casino rooms with high ceilings. The Commerce casino has both of these, is a nice place to eat, and is closest to my home, aside from Hollywood Park casino. But somehow, The Commerce casino has never has appealed to me. I can't put my finger on the reason why.

Given the choice between the Bike and Commerce, I prefer the Bike.

I probably like Hawaiian Gardens best, although it's farthest from my house in driving distance.

I like Hollywood Park because it's closest to home.

Hustler, Normandy and Crystal Park didn't have any Omaha-8 that last times I visited them. I don't like the low ceilings in the Normandy. Hustler has good (but expensive) ahi sushi.

Quote:
Did you play in the old school card clubs that used to be in the area ?
No. I visited them, but that was before the no smoking law in California. They had, as I recall, a foul smell and were filled with cigarette smoke.

I didn't start playing in casinos until the turn of the century.

I hope you're planning on hosting one of these getting to know you threads, Kroe_bar. No hurry, but I'm interested in knowing your L.A. casinos likes and dislikes too.

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Old 05-05-2013, 10:44 PM   #24
Buzz
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Re: Getting to know Buzz

Quote:
Originally Posted by ichbin View Post
What are you best and worst days in poker? (This can be as a dollar amount or as a story!)
Thanks for responding.

I've been thinking of how to answer this, on and off for a couple of hours. I don't really have a best and worst day. They're all best days. More memorable than the poker itself are times spent before or after poker with good friends, road trips to and from poker games with old friends, just being there.

It's a good question because it got me to thinking and brought back memories, but I don't have a specific answer for you.

I hope you're planning to host one of these "getting to know you threads" too.

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Old 05-05-2013, 11:31 PM   #25
billygstar
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Re: Getting to know Buzz

very nice read buzz. your positive outlook on life in general is very admirable. (teach me pls )

some questions.

What do you think of poker as a profession?
Do you think many young intelligent people that call themselves pro's are waisting their lives away grinding day in day out while contributing nothing to society?

How detrimental is it to some young players general well being and their ability to maintain normal relationships? Maybe with your school headmaster background you have an opinion on this.

How long have you been mod here and how many times have you retired and come back after rude ppl like 1016 giving you crap?

Have you ever been to spearmint rhino or likewise? Would you still like to go at 78 if you had the chance and no1 told the misses?

I get the impression we disagree on quite a lot of stratgey ino8 esp in mtt's. What do you think of my strat post and general posting style/dimeena(no clue how to spel that? Maybe Better going back to that thread and posting badbeats lol

Is Niss actually a little girl?

Doyou agree that circumvnting the profanity filter should be standard practice or should thy be cast away forever?

Do you look back on life an wish you could have done it dfferently? I aready battle wth that problem so i'm guessing i'm going to constantly think that when i'm an old geezer.

Is there any particular advice you can give in staying positive in life and not letting **** get on top of you?

How important is positive thinking and how detrimnetal is negtive thinking in poker?

What do like the brits? Maybe you have british roots yourself?(fine if you don't like the english tbh)

gl with everything

billy

Last edited by billygstar; 05-05-2013 at 11:44 PM. Reason: is the rng on pokerstars over 90% genuinly random?
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